In contrast to the decreasing trends observed in most countries, gastric-cancer mortality has remained at about the same level in Mexico throughout the last 40 years. As part of a study carried out in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, an assessment of nutrient intake and gastric cancer is presented here. The study population comprised 220 cases of gastric cancer and 752 population-based controls. Our results showed 70 to 80% reduction in the risk of developing this tumor, associated with the intake of polyunsaturated fat, fiber and vitamin E; and this effect was independent of the histological type of the tumor (i.e., intestinal or diffuse). On the other hand, an increased risk of gastric cancer was related to the consumption of saturated fat (OR(Q4vs.Q1) = 4.37, 95% CI 1.89-10.12) and, cholesterol (OR(Q4vs.Q1) = 2.39, 95% CI 1.23-4.64), but such effects were restricted to the intestinal type of gastric cancer. In the whole study population, mono-unsaturated fat intake increased the risk for gastric cancer, and a marginally significant increasing trend was observed for protein consumption. The findings from this study add information about the role of specific nutrients in the etiology of gastric cancer.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.